25 Random Things about LACMA

By now you probably know that your second grade best friend wished she had a pet monkey or that the guy down the hall is a bocce ball champion. All this thanks to 25 Random Things on Facebook. But perhaps you don’t know which kind of bug took over our Magritte exhibition a few years ago, or who the famous crooner is on our Board of Trustees. With so many enticing little odds and ends, we thought we’d present you with our own 25 Random Things…

1. LACMA’s largest collection is Costume & Textiles. We have 25,000 objects in that department alone.

2. LACMA’s campus is approximately twenty acres—the same size as about fifteen football fields.

3. There are at least twenty kinds of palms in each season of Robert Irwin’s palm garden installation.

4. In 1913 the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art opened in Exposition Park. Later it became the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art. In 1965 the “art” seceded to its own digs on Wilshire, becoming the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

5. The most common search term on lacma.org is BCAM.

6. The most popular artist searches are (in this order) Picasso, Magritte, and Diego Rivera.

7. The most read Unframed post is Celebrating Urban Light.

8. The most commonly ordered item at Pentimento, LACMA’s restaurant, is the warm chicken apple salad.

9. Last year was a record year for acquisitions—4,000+ objects, including the Vernon Collection of photography, a group of Oceanic objects, and a selection of European costume spanning eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

10. LACMA donated the ancient animal bones it excavated while building BCAM to the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea tar pits.

11. LACMA’s most visited exhibition last year was Dalí: Painting & Film.

12. In order to build the BP Grand Entrance, LACMA received permission to permanently close a portion of Ogden Drive, where the structure is built.

13. A woman was shot and killed by her husband on the top floor of LACMA West back when it was the May Company department store.

14. Damien Hirst’s The Collector was not the first time we had live insects in our galleries; during the 2006 exhibition Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images, a prankster unleashed a number of ladybugs in the galleries which had to be briefly cleared to chase the insects out.

15. Barbra Streisand is on our Board of Trustees.

16. Just as LACMA’s boardroom is a work of art, so is Director Michael Govan’s office. Both are installed with John Baldessari’s snarled freeway ceiling wallpaper and cloud carpet from the Magritte exhibition.

17. LACMA offers free or subsidized admission to 400,000 visitors annually.

18. One member of the staff nicknamed the Jubea palm that grows from the parking structure elevator area “Billy” (although there was no apparent reason, the name has caught on).

19. Paula, who works in LACMA’s cafeteria, has one of the most talked about installations—her seasonal fingernail art.

20. LACMA has more volunteers than staff members.

21. There are still active tar pits on the LACMA campus, and it shows. We often track tar in on the carpets.

22. When in the elevator of LACMA West (the former May Co. building), Barbara Kruger has found herself waiting for someone to announce “Ladies’ lingerie” or “Hats, fifth floor.”

23. “I will never forget the first time I set foot in what I immediately felt was the kingdom of darkness, the staff offices. ‘What are you doing here? How can you see the light and the truth? How can you have perception of truth by staying here in this darkness?'” said Renzo Piano, speaking of LACMA’s administrative offices.

24. The color of the walls on the first and third floors in BCAM is Benjamin Moore Super White.

25. The travertine marble in BCAM comes from the famous quarry, Bruno Poggi, in Italy.

Allison Agsten

One Response to 25 Random Things about LACMA

  1. [...] LACMA did it, everyone on Facebook is doing it, and now the IMA is turning it up a notch with blog “tagging”. Here it is…what you all have been waiting for…25 Random Things about the IMA. [...]

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